Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor (TURBT)

Transurethral Resection is a procedure performed when a tumor is found in the bladder, either by an x-ray test or, more commonly, when an office cystoscopy reveals a tumor. Most bladder tumors are cancerous (over 90%) and the first step in treatment is removal of the tumor. This will determine whether the tumor is cancerous and determines how aggressive the tumor is by looking at the cells under the microscope to determine the depth of invasion as well as the aggressiveness of the tumor.

The procedure is performed under anesthesia at a hospital or surgery center. A scope is inserted into the penis through the urethra and is passed into the bladder. A special scope that has an electrical “loop” is used to resect the tumor and the tissue surrounding the tumor. The “loop” is then used to cauterize any areas that are bleeding.

What to expect afterwards:

1. Some bleeding is normal for 2-10 days after the procedure. If you are on blood-thinners or if the tumor is large, this may go on for a few weeks and is normal. If you experience heavy bleeding with clots in the urine, notify your urologist. You may be sent home with a catheter or potentially kept in the hospital until the urine clears.

2. Burning with urination is common for a few days to a few weeks after the procedure and it should improve day by day.

3. Recurrent bladder tumors can occur in up to 50% of cases depending on the aggressiveness of the tumor. You will be advised on surveillance protocols for the bladder tumor.

4. You will have a follow-up appointment with your urologist to discuss the biopsy results and determine further treatment or surveillance.

If you would like to see a typical TURBT, please visit the following website: